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Alienware Admits Consoles Are Now Resembling PCs

By - Source: PCGamesN | B 44 comments

Alienware general manager Frank Azor talks PCs and next-gen consoles.

Alienware, which is great at throwing parties and getting me stumbling drunk, has acknowledged that consoles are finally getting more PC-like with the upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It's true, of course. It's all x86 goodness inside the box, making it a more level playing field for developers and gamers alike. It's good for Microsoft's multi-screen scheme, it's good for AMD's gaming scheme, it's good for everyone.

"If you look at what Sony and Microsoft are doing, they're taking PCs and putting them into the living room," said Alienware’s general manager Frank Azor. "It's an AMD CPU, it's an AMD graphics card, it's a standard desktop hard drive. It's unbelievable. That tells you that the PC is the gaming platform of choice out there, there is nothing out there that's better. You look at what they're trying to do and they're becoming more and more like PCs."

PC isn't necessarily the gaming platform of choice; otherwise, developers wouldn't have flocked to the consoles for years. But during E3 2013, AMD pointed out a very obvious flaw in the industry, which is that games are developed on PCs using SDKs, brought to the console, then ported back to PCs again. With next-generation consoles using x86-based hardware, development will be more universal across all three except for small features that each platform will require for differentiation. SDKs will still be in use, of course, but not for non-x86 hardware.

Unfortunately, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will likely still be the platforms of choice because of PC fragmentation – they're a single hardware set whereas PCs seemingly have an infinite number of configurations (Android has the same issue). Naturally Alienware is going to say PC is the gaming platform of choice – it's indeed the most powerful, the most visually stunning on higher-end machines and supports an open gaming community. But on a revenue level, unnamed developers have told me for years that consoles are where the money lies because costs are low, piracy is less rampant and so on.

Still, it seems like PC is leading the way, and Microsoft and Sony are finally giving in to designing PC-like devices. Developers have reportedly complained about the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 hardware for years (the former more than the latter), so it's fair to say that developers have been the ones championing the new system hardware. Now it seems that the only real obstacle is developing for both a Windows 8-based platform (PC, XB1) and Sony's Orbis OS that's heavily based on FreeBSD 9.0 (which is really nothing new in the PC gaming arena).

"You're installing games [on consoles] now instead of running them off the disc, because that's the right thing to do; you're downloading games digitally, which we've been doing on PC for years; they're integrating certain TV aspects and stuff, well, ten years ago we started experimenting with media center," Azor said. "I mean we can tell you how to do that on Alienware with media center PCs during that whole time. It's a little bit different now because the technology has matured considerably, but a lot of the innovations and things that are proven on the PC are making their ways onto consoles and the consoles are looking more and more like PCs every day."

Of course, in one argument, one could say PC is leading because of games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, World of Tanks and the huge number of free-to-play MMORPGs like DDO, Lord of the Rings, The New Republic and yes, even FarmVille. But on consoles, gamers have Gears of War, Halo, Uncharted… both platforms have their own blockbuster hits. Imagine if both groups were combined now that hardware is x86 across the board! Yeah... good luck with that one.

"Look at the most widely played games out there, League of Legends, World of Tanks, I mean these are the most widely played games in terms of hours played in the industry. And up until this week those were exclusive PC titles," he said.

The gaming business is getting ready to explode, and you're going to be a part of it. It's almost like that first 3DFX card and Quake all over again…

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  • 0 Hide
    soldier44 , June 30, 2013 6:14 AM
    Resembling but not surpassing. Hopefully this will make console ports to PC more bearable now.
  • 0 Hide
    shadowfamicom , June 30, 2013 6:20 AM
    I love building computers and playing PC games... But how am I going to get the new Okami, Catherine, Monster Hunter, Rez, Siren, Virtua Fighter, Lumines, Tekken, Silent Hill, Katamari, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, The Last Guardian and the like on PC? Not that PC doesn't have its own strengths (FPS, RTS, MMO's, Simulation.... ect)

    Also wanted to note that I realize the amount of genres you regularly see on the PC have been expanding since Steam. Was surprised to see SFIV on PC. Still a lot of work to be done until the need for me to have a console to play these games is no more.
  • 0 Hide
    gsxrme , June 30, 2013 6:23 AM
    I'm just stoked about the new XboxOne and PS4 because its x86 and the games being x86 means the PC will get more games on release. We also have more console users because the cost of a PS4 vs a high end PC is black and white. PS4 = $399, My PC, custom build, all parts from newegg.com = $3100 +/-. Of course I can do much more than a PS4 can but for gaming the PC is a HUGE hit to my pocket book.
  • 2 Hide
    codo , June 30, 2013 6:35 AM
    The hardware may be advancing yes, albeit AMD garbage, but it doesn't change the fact that you still have the console format, no upgrades, a terrible, useless OS and no control. Maybe in another few generations it may truly match PC versatility, but I dont think it ever will
  • -1 Hide
    acerace , June 30, 2013 6:52 AM
    Quote:
    The hardware may be advancing yes, albeit AMD garbage, but it doesn't change the fact that you still have the console format, no upgrades, a terrible, useless OS and no control. Maybe in another few generations it may truly match PC versatility, but I dont think it ever will


    Fanboy talks have no integrity. Similar like dust blown by wind.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , June 30, 2013 7:07 AM
    I always thought the XBox360 and PS3 resembled PC's (from a hardware perspective), but it's true, this most recent gen will resembles PC's far more than in the past. I hope this does equate to better game performance across the board, and less headache for developers to deliver to the different platforms.
  • 0 Hide
    ArielAtom , June 30, 2013 7:13 AM
    Yes they resemble PCs. Yes they have hardware like PCs. But I can still open a browser without having a magnifying glass just to see what I'm putting in. My graphics look better and I can mod the games *legally*. I can upgrade my PC and I don't have to pay for PSN or XBL like the new consoles will make you. Do I care about killzone? I can run an emulator on a PC for those games.
  • 0 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , June 30, 2013 8:18 AM
    Man, is anyone not realizing the architecture differences in these consoles compared to the PC? I absolutely love my pc (i7 3820 @ 4.2Ghz, 8GB of 2100Mhz, 660 Ti) but these consoles ARE in a league of their own. Between the gameplay I have seen VS. the specifications they have, it's simply amazing what they are capable of doing on a unified operating system/hardware setup.

    The first thing I said to my buddies was that they resemble PC's physically and obviously hardware wise. I will be patiently awaiting to see what they can do with them.
  • 0 Hide
    guru_urug , June 30, 2013 8:18 AM
    Quote:
    The hardware may be advancing yes, albeit AMD garbage, but it doesn't change the fact that you still have the console format, no upgrades, a terrible, useless OS and no control. Maybe in another few generations it may truly match PC versatility, but I dont think it ever will


    If the console satisfied all the criteria you mentioned, it would in essence be a PC which would defy the concept of a console. Considering the price and the arsenal of games, I'd say its a good investment considering the average lifespan of a console. You don't have to worry about upgrades since all games will run well inspite of the hardware aging. All that said I am a PC gamer since my uses go beyond gaming and I am happy with the console hardware being more PC like since it makes things more better for PC gamers
  • 2 Hide
    irish_adam , June 30, 2013 9:04 AM
    Quote:
    The hardware may be advancing yes, albeit AMD garbage, but it doesn't change the fact that you still have the console format, no upgrades, a terrible, useless OS and no control. Maybe in another few generations it may truly match PC versatility, but I dont think it ever will


    Whats wrong with AMD hardware? Their graphics cards are just as good as Nvidia and quite often better at the price points.

    Granted their cpu is not as strong as intel but thats mainly due to poor game optimisation for their architecture. However this is not a problem on consoles as the games are made specificly to run on the hardware. Also they have the best unified solution making it cheaper, more energy efficient and easier to cool.

    so obviously you have no idea what you are talking about
  • -2 Hide
    codo , June 30, 2013 9:06 AM
    you dont get to say "whats wrong with amd hardware" and then tell someone else they dont know what they are talking about.
  • 2 Hide
    irish_adam , June 30, 2013 9:16 AM
    Quote:
    you dont get to say "whats wrong with amd hardware" and then tell someone else they dont know what they are talking about.


    Wow great counter argument, how about giving some reasons as to why AMD isnt the best firm to use to create x86 consoles.

    you just look like an uneducated fanboy atm
  • 0 Hide
    CDdude55 , June 30, 2013 9:25 AM
    This has been obvious for sometime now, each generation of console hardware has incorperated PC oriented features. Since around the sixth generation of console hardware we've been seeing this, the inclusion of networking, then eventually HDD's instead of memory cards, then cloud computing features and media streaming and now the x86 architechture all in which are features of any modern PC.

    The real difference has always been content, as consoles still are mainly video gaming machines so we see lots of gaming content that is exclusive to there realm. So consoles are still different in a sense and are still needed for those who what to play that exclusive content like GTA V and what not. That's the main selling point for someone like myself who isn't big on recording video and sharing it with my friends over Twitch or having the ability to manipulate my TV through my console.
  • 0 Hide
    papalarge123 , June 30, 2013 9:36 AM
    well too be fair, if u have a quick enough system, i bet there will be someone out there that will port the games to PC unofficially, or even run the PS4's or XBOne's O/S onto there PC, this will then open the PC to being the best platform out there, because it would play amazing PC games with amazing spec, and then possibly adding the power of the console games toboot
  • 0 Hide
    1zacster , June 30, 2013 9:42 AM
    Quote:
    I love building computers and playing PC games... But how am I going to get the new Okami, Catherine, Monster Hunter, Rez, Siren, Virtua Fighter, Lumines, Tekken, Silent Hill, Katamari, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, The Last Guardian and the like on PC? Not that PC doesn't have its own strengths (FPS, RTS, MMO's, Simulation.... ect)

    Also wanted to note that I realize the amount of genres you regularly see on the PC have been expanding since Steam. Was surprised to see SFIV on PC. Still a lot of work to be done until the need for me to have a console to play these games is no more.

    Emulators. Anything that is half as powerful at a 2500k @ 3.2 and as powerful as a gtx 560 ti can run most games at 1080p (with a cpu bottleneck), if you have something like a 2500k @ 4.2 (like me) the only problems is occasional lag in games like MGS2 and Starfox adventures.

  • 0 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , June 30, 2013 9:47 AM
    Quote:

    Emulators. Anything that is half as powerful at a 2500k @ 3.2 and as powerful as a gtx 560 ti can run most games at 1080p (with a cpu bottleneck), if you have something like a 2500k @ 4.2 (like me) the only problems is occasional lag in games like MGS2 and Starfox adventures.



    Your saying PC's are going to be able to emulate these new console games? Maybe in 10 years. MAYBE.
  • 0 Hide
    brandonvi , June 30, 2013 9:57 AM
    Quote:
    Of course, in one argument, one could say PC is leading because of games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, World of Tanks and the huge number of free-to-play MMORPGs like DDO, Lord of the Rings, The New Republic and yes, even FarmVille.



    Please at least try a little harder to get the names of games right its Star wars the OLD republic lol not new its 3000 years before the moves
  • 1 Hide
    ArielAtom , June 30, 2013 10:30 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:

    Emulators. Anything that is half as powerful at a 2500k @ 3.2 and as powerful as a gtx 560 ti can run most games at 1080p (with a cpu bottleneck), if you have something like a 2500k @ 4.2 (like me) the only problems is occasional lag in games like MGS2 and Starfox adventures.



    Your saying PC's are going to be able to emulate these new console games? Maybe in 10 years. MAYBE.


    You realize that all they have is a 7870 right? It's not like it has Titan power -.-.
  • -1 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , June 30, 2013 11:05 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:

    Emulators. Anything that is half as powerful at a 2500k @ 3.2 and as powerful as a gtx 560 ti can run most games at 1080p (with a cpu bottleneck), if you have something like a 2500k @ 4.2 (like me) the only problems is occasional lag in games like MGS2 and Starfox adventures.



    Your saying PC's are going to be able to emulate these new console games? Maybe in 10 years. MAYBE.


    You realize that all they have is a 7870 right? It's not like it has Titan power -.-.


    Ok then. Run a virtual box and play the original Crysis on it. Or even Counter Strike Source. Let me know how that works out. You will not be "emulating" these consoles for a long time. XBox 360 and PS3 are just barely playable NOW and they are almost 7-8 years old.
  • 0 Hide
    rmpumper , June 30, 2013 11:21 AM
    I wonder if modders will be able to "unofficially" port console exclusives to PC.
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